Be Sure Your Invisalign Treatment is Done by the Best

Invisalign treatment what to look for
Peter, the patient
Dear Dr. S.,
I love the idea of Invisalign. I’m not in your area, and am unsure how I can find the right provider for me. What is your advice on how to find a skilled Invisalign provider?
Sincerely,
Martha P.
Dr. Michael Stosich
Dear Martha,
That’s a great question. Finding the provider that is right for you takes some research and effort. You can start by going to the Invisalign website and searching on their site for Invisalign providers in your area. You can see providers with different statuses, such as Elite or Premier. These refer to how often the provider uses Invisalign as a treatment option.

But I would advise against going with simply the one who uses Invisalign the most. You want a provider who focuses on quality, too, not just quantity. While general dentists can also be Invisalign providers, I think it is important that patients use an orthodontist for straightening their teeth.

While general dentists are skilled in general dentistry, an orthodontist will have the unique knowledge and skill needed to understand all the intricacies that go in to straightening teeth. You want a smile that isn’t just beautiful, but that functions properly, too. An orthodontist will have the knowledge needed to ensure that.

But again, don’t stop just there – choose an orthodontist who is certified. That means he or she is dedicated to staying on the cutting edge of orthodontic knowledge, technology and skill.

It’s also important to know that the provider you choose has experience treating cases like yours. Ask to see before and after photos and for specifics on how he or she envisions your treatment going.

In addition to that, make sure you are seeing a provider who is a certified specialist in orthodontics. Many doctors can offer Invisalign treatment, but very few have the unique knowledge needed to handle more complex cases. Think of it this way – if you wanted to have a plastic surgery procedure, you might ask your general practitioner for a referral, but you wouldn’t ask him to give you a nose job. Only a certified plastic surgeon would have the skill set and knowledge necessary to give you the result you wanted. The same is true in orthodontics.

One of the most important things in choosing a provider is finding one who will listen and make you comfortable. I work very hard to not only use the latest technology and treatment options, but to also make sure I take the time to develop relationships with my patients. As a specialist in orthodontics, I have the knowledge and skill needed to provide you with the smile of your dreams. I also understand the importance of treating every patient as a member of my family and value these relationships.

So my best advice to you is to find someone who is skilled, certified and knowledgeable, but also someone who makes you feel comfortable and valued as a patient.

Sincerely,
Dr. S.


Sarah, the patient
Dear Dr. S.,
What does it mean to be a top ranked Invisalign provider? When I look at websites, I see all these titles like Premier and Elite Invisalign provider. What do these mean?
Sincerely,
Paul R.
Dr. Michael Stosich
Dear Paul,
These titles refer to the experience level of certain Invisalign providers. If they use Invisalign often, they can achieve what is known as either Premier Preferred or Elite Preferred status with Invisalign. You may also see the statement that the provider is in the top one percent of Invisalign providers.

While experience is important, it’s quality, not quantity that you should be concerned with. When choosing a provider, it’s important to not just look at these titles, but to really research the work they do. What types of cases has the provider been able to successfully treat with Invisalign? Does he have experience successfully using Invisalign to treat a malocclusion like yours?

Invisalign is an amazing technology that allows us to correct bites, while also seamlessly fitting into the lifestyles of our patients. But, correcting bites is an art form, and one that requires serious skill and attention to detail. There are many providers today who may have use the status of Preferred or Elite when talking about their Invisalign treatment.

However, it’s important to note that only a small percentage of Invisalign providers has the experience needed to treat more than just minor bite issues. Instead of focusing on how many cases a provider has treated, it would be wise for you to ask what kinds of cases he or she has successfully treated.

While a certain provider may have treated more Invisalign patients than anyone else in your area, that doesn’t necessarily make him the best at perfecting smiles.
Sincerely,
Dr. S.


Sarah, the patient
Dear Dr. S.,
I made the decision a few years ago to undergo Invisalign treatment. It’s been two years and I’m not sure we’re close to the end yet. My neighbor had Invisalign, too, and was finished in just a year. Why is mine taking so long?

Sincerely,
Cathy H.

Dr. Michael Stosich
Dear Cathy,
Without knowing the details about your case, I can’t offer exact reasons why your treatment would take as long as it has. First, it is important to note that everyone’s teeth move at different rates. Some mouths simply respond better to treatment than others do.

But it’s also important to remember that not all Invisalign providers are created equally. Lots of providers offer the treatment in their offices, and it may even be one of the treatments they offer the most. However, that doesn’t mean they are the best at providing it, or that they have the experience necessary in more complex cases.

Sometimes, the Invisalign aligners themselves aren’t enough to correct a serious malocclusion. It can require the use of attachments, and sometimes even fixed braces at the beginning or end of treatment, to provide the ideal bite. By starting treatment with the right provider, who has the understanding of how to efficiently and effectively move the teeth, no matter what treatment is decided upon, you’ll be saving yourself time and money.

It’s important to remember that even though there are a lot of Invisalign providers out there, and even ones who use Invisalign regularly, not all providers are created equally.

Sincerely,
Dr. S.

Banner image is courtesy of: Invisalign.com and Google Images

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AUTHOR: Michael Stosich

Michael S. Stosich, DMD, MS, MS, is a specialist orthodontist for children and adults with subspecialty expertise in robotically assisted orthodontics. Dr. Stosich serves as the orthodontic director at the University of Chicago's cleft lip and palate clinic and craniofacial anomalies clinic, which treats complex pediatric craniofacial anomalies.